National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) After Ernest, this is my second favorite Christmas movie! Last year, I shared the TV edit with my oldest son and he liked it. My younger son, Tanner, seems to have a better crafted sense of humor already so I was eager to show it to him too. He laughed alot and at all the right parts a 6 year old should laugh at. This is a movie that has seemed to pop up on just about every channel for the holidays. I have the DVD, but the TV-version basically cuts out the cursing and a couple of off-color jokes and then it's pretty ok for a family to sit down and watch. I taped it off CMT first, and even though it was in HD, the picture was only centered in the middle of the screen. TV Land shows a full screen version, but we don't get TV Land in HD. We finally went with ABC Family, which is showing a nice widescreen HD print with the curse words simply muted and a few minor snips around PG-13 jokes.
Friends With Benefits (2011) Justin Timberlake is such a talented fella. He's not only a good actor, he's a gifted comedic actor and he shines here in this tale of no strings attached sex with a friend. My major beef with this flick is that it pretends to mock all the contrivances and cliches of romantic comedies and then go ahead and follows the exact same path of 300 romcoms before it. Still, the cast is quite good and the film moves along at a brisk pace. The highlight of the movie in my book is a film-within-the film; a dead on parody of a romantic comedy that is seen on TV a few times staring Jason Segal and Rashida Jones. This would have made a much more interesting feature film.
March of the Wooden Soldiers (1934) Here's an ancient production of the classic Babes in Toyland story, this one most notable for featuring Laurel & Hardy. While the film is all around pretty good, when Laurel & Hardy aren't on screen the film quickly sags. There is also a depiction of the Three Little Pigs played by midgets in pig costumes and it's pretty terrifying, as is a monkey in a Mickey Mouse costume.